Apple reaches deal with Ireland over $15B tax ruling


Apple, whose CEO Tim Cook likes to talk a big game about how the tech industry should be more socially responsible while overseeing an global tax-avoidance regime that puts Scrooge McDuck's gold-filled vault/swimming pool to shame, has agreed to repay Ireland $14.6 billion (around €13 billion) in unpaid taxes, the Wall Street Journal reported. The plan was revealed to reporters just ahead of the minister's meeting with the EU's antitrust chief, who has been chasing down the issue since the ruling past year.

But he said the Irish government had made "significant progress" in agreeing the "principles and operation of the escrow fund".

The agreement comes one year after the European Union (EU) ruled that Apple owed the country over $15 billion in back taxes after establishing what Brussels considered unfair arrangements letting the company underpay its taxes.

A commission spokesman said the same day: "We hope that we can work constructively with the Irish authorities to make sure that recovery is completed as soon as possible".

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A spokeswoman for Collins said Friday that the ME lawmaker and Senate Republicans are "making very good progress" on negotiations. Amid a whirl of meetings and dramatic votes Thursday evening, the Senate GOP leaders were rewriting the bill behind closed doors.

Because of Ireland's inaction, the EU referred the country's government to the European Court of Justice, the highest court of the bloc's governing body, to compel it collect the back taxes.

Apple CEO Tim Cook had called Vestager's decision "total political crap" back in 2015.

Despite today's agreement, Apple's appeal remains in process, and its tax payments to Ireland will remain in escrow until that's exhausted.

"Ireland has and will play its role in what's needed to deal with the issue of aggressive tax avoidance", he said.